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South Africa: CSIR Researcher Contributes Chapter to International Book on Cellulose
Source: CSIR e-News - November 2013
Source Date: Friday, November 29, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 29, 2013

In Tech is the world's largest multidisciplinary open access publisher of books, covering the fields of science, technology and medicine, and provides free online access to high quality research, helping leading academics and scientists to make their work visible and accessible to diverse new audiences around the world. Chunilall’s PhD research focused on the area of cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer on Earth, which makes up about 33% of all plant matter.
This work was made possible through funding from the CSIR Young Researchers Establishment Fund, Sappi Saiccor and international collaborations with experts in the field of cellulose chemistry. It was co-authored by Prof Per Tomas Larsson from Innventia AB in Sweden, and Dr Tamara Bush, a former employee of the CSIR.
The CSIR’s work in the area of developing solutions for a green economy partly seeks to address the complexity of the interface between humans and nature, and to support green technology development focusing on waste, bio-refinery, bio-energy and natural fibres. As a relatively new focus area for the CSIR, the research domain is gathering significant momentum due to growing interest and needs in public and private sector.
According to Chunilall, the need to create awareness on current environmental dynamics and the imminent depletion of fossil fuels are some of the key reasons why science needs to keenly investigate forest biomaterials as an alternative source of energy, chemicals and materials. “The importance of cellulose is already widely recognised and the field of cellulose science is expanding exponentially. As such, cellulose is destined to play a major role in the emerging bio-economy which is why this e-book and this chapter are so significant,” he said.
The e-book covers different aspects of cellulose and its chemistry and will increase the body of knowledge in its fundamental aspects and the application. Chunilall’s chapter deals intensively with the impact that the supra-molecular structure has on the chemical reactivity of cellulose. It investigates scenarios encompassing the influence of drying on structure and ultimate impact on reactivity. “Exploiting cellulose for commercial use in the best way is dependent on developing a clear understanding of its chemical properties, and this publication will be a useful asset in the study of cellulose as a possible energy alternative for other scientists and students within the forestry and forest products research environment. It will also be a good introduction to other cellulose-related publications that focus on the relationship between cellulose and medical, pharmaceutical and electronic applications,” Chunilall concluded.
Read the e-book and chapter.
Dr Viren Chunilall

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